Indian Evacuation From Kharkiv, Pisochyn To Be Completed Today, Focus On Sumy: MEA

| Updated: 05 March, 2022 8:40 pm IST

NEW DELHI: The evacuation of Indian nationals from Kharkiv and Pisochyn of war-hit Ukraine will be completed in the next few hours, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, adding that now the main focus is on evacuating students from Sumy city.

Addressing media persons here, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India will continue to press both the Russian and the Ukrainian sides with its demand for a ceasefire to evacuate India citizens from Sumy.

“Almost all Indians have now left Kharkiv city. This was an area of considerable concern for the last few days,” he said, adding that the evacuees from the city were in transit to reach neighbouring countries of Ukraine.

Bagchi said there were less than 300 students in Pisochyn earlier today.

Indian students board a bus arranged by the Indian Embassy in Ukraine, in Pisochyn

Bagchi said “almost all Indians”, except for those who were stranded in Kharkiv and Sumy, had left Ukraine which was invaded by Russian troops on February 24.

Approximately 13,300 Indian citizens have been brought back to India in 63 flights under Operation Ganga, he added.

“Around 2,900 Indians returned to the country in 15 flights in the last 24 hours. Thirteen flights are scheduled in the next 24 hours. The embassy will see who all are still in Ukraine and contact them. I don’t think there are many Indian citizens left, apart from Sumy,” the spokesperson told reporters.

“Now our main focus is on Sumy. It is in the northeast, on the border with Russia. We are exploring multiple options for evacuating our citizens out of there. Let me reiterate that the main challenge remains ongoing shelling, violence and the lack of transportation,” he said.

Pisochyn has been evacuated of all Indian citizens, Indian Embassy in Ukraine said

The ministry said that the government was in touch with “all concerned regarding possible movement” of Indian students out of Sumy.

“The best option, of course, would be a ceasefire. In this connection, we have been strongly pressing both the Russian and the Ukrainian sides to allow a local ceasefire that allows a safe corridor for our students. It has not yet happened. We will continue to press for it,” he said.

On being asked when he expected the ceasefire to happen for evacuation of Indians, Bagchi said: “We are strongly urging to have a ceasefire. I can’t say when it will happen. I hope it happens soon.”

Shortly after the press briefing, the Embassy of India in Ukraine said all Indian citizens have been evacuated from Pisochyn.

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